The GDPR apocalypse has been and gone. Like many, I didn’t bother re opting-in or even opening the majority of GDPR emails that flooded in the month leading up to the 25th May, and those that I did open, I unsubscribed to. I read an article recently saying that GDPR was going to kill email marketing, but I don’t think that’s true. I think that it gives email marketers a much needed, long awaited wake up call that personalisation and quality is an absolute must, and we must treat our subscriber lists with a bit more respect.

So how do we go about this? How can we keep email marketing alive when subscriber lists have taken such a big hit? Let’s focus on building loyalty, and getting potential new customers on board with incentives. Think about the following…

Master Segmentation For Repeat Orders & Brand Loyalty

I wrote a post in November preaching about personalisation (amongst other things), and it’s even more relevant now. I still hear horror stories of MDs demanding the email team to ‘just send it to everyone’. In the desperate attempt to boost sales from email, weak campaigns are sent out to entire audiences. The method of throwing enough mud at the wall until some of it sticks will see you rack up unsubscribers. A prime example:

It’s not enough of a hook. Obviously not all emails should be sales and discount codes, but there needs to be a bit more logic behind what brands send out. You’re filling inboxes with content your subscriber list might not find particularly relevant, resulting in your subscriber list dwindling.

If you’ve sourced customer data in line with GDPR, and have made it clear how you intend to use it, personalisation using segmentation of your email lists is essential. If creating a segment isn’t something you’ve done before, it’s super simple. It involves creating a list based on a set of conditions you determine, e.g. by previous purchases, buying frequency, product interests or demographics. Once you’ve got this data available and have segmented it (check out guides from your email marketing platform to do this), you’ll be looking at…

Audit Your Automation

Thanks to GDPR, you’ll now be working with subscribers that have positively opted in – they’re on board. The next step is to avoid abusing this relationship you’ve built up by being overly keen on automated emails. It’s no secret that populating email marketing lists is now going to be much harder, so it’s easier to keep your existing audience lists happy, rather than battling for fresh data.

Two areas to look at are as follows:

  1. Is your automation frequency too high? One off basket abandonment emails are one thing, repeating this or similar campaigns without incentive is risky business. Ensure your message is strong or try and offer an incentive to get them through checkout. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback – suggestions from potential customers might mean a simpler checkout process for others.
  2. Are your automated emails working hard enough for you? Take a welcome email for example. Does it incentivise new subscribers or customers to take the next step? This could be showing them relevant content, products, or dropping them a personalised discount code to get them over the line.

The idea behind keeping your automated emails in check is to…

Split Test Until You Find The Right Formula

If you send out regular email campaigns, it’s important to test each element to make sure your pushing performance to the absolute maximum. From different subject line styles through to layouts, content, call to actions and landing pages, regular testing allows you to continue improving your email conversion rate, and ensure the right audience are getting the right content.

Here’s a really handy guide with loads of detail on split testing emails. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out with email campaigns or are a seasoned vet, testing should be a big part of your on-going strategy. If each subscriber feels well treated by receiving relevant, personalised content, you’ll be looking at a boosted email conversion rate and a glowing brand reputation.

So remember:

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